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Origin: Roll on the Ground / Big Ball in Town

Richie 18 Dec 06 - 10:50 PM
Richie 19 Dec 06 - 07:42 AM
Richie 20 Dec 06 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,Allan s. 21 Dec 06 - 10:57 AM
GUEST 29 Nov 13 - 06:11 PM
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Subject: origin: Roll on the Ground/Big Ball in-
From: Richie
Date: 18 Dec 06 - 10:50 PM

Here's a link to: Collected Works of Billy Golden

http://www.archive.org/details/BillyGolden

Is this the first recorded version of Roll on the Ground? There are two different versions.

Any other versions? Is this related to Big Ball in Town? Are they related to Long Journey Home?

Just wondering.

Thanks,

Richie


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Subject: RE: origin: Roll on the Ground/Big Ball in-
From: Richie
Date: 19 Dec 06 - 07:42 AM

From the Ballad index:

Roll on the Ground (Big Ball's in Town)
DESCRIPTION: Floating verses: "Let's have a party, let's have a time/Let's have a party, I've only a dime"; "Work on the railroad, sleep on the ground/Eat soda crackers, ten cents a pound." Chorus: "Roll on the ground, boys, roll on the ground (x2)."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1899 (recording, Billy Golden)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Floating verses, mostly concerning high life: "Get on your big shoes, get on your gown/Shake off those sad blues, Big Ball's in town"; "Let's have a party, let's have a time/Let's have a party, I've only a dime"; "My love's in jail, boys, my love's in jail/My love's in jail, boys, who's going her bail?" And "Work on the railroad, sleep on the ground/Eat soda crackers, ten cents a pound." Chorus: "Big Ball's in Boston [Nashville], Big Ball's in town/Big Ball's in Boston, we'll dance around." Or, in the other common version, "Roll on the ground, boys, roll on the ground (x2)."
KEYWORDS: prison dancing drink humorous nonballad floatingverses dancetune
FOUND IN: US(SE,So)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
BrownIII 234, "Working on the Railroad" (1 text plus two unrelated fragments, the "B" and "C" fragments probably belong here; the "A" text is a jumble starting with "Working on the Railroad" but followed up by what is probably a "Song of All Songs" fragment)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 200, "Big Ball's In Town" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 199, "Roll On The Ground" (1 text)
DT, ROLLGRND*
Roud #12114 (and probably others)
RECORDINGS:
Warren Caplinger's Cumberland Mountain Entertainers, "Big Ball in Town" (Brunswick 241, 1928)
Georgia Yellow Hammers, "Big Ball in Memphis" (Victor V-40138, 1929)
Billy Golden, "Roll on the Ground" (Berliner 0539, c. 1900; Victor A-616, c. 1901; rec. 1899) (CYL Albany 1131 [as "Roll On de Ground"], n.d.) (CYL: Lambert 5077 [as "Roll on de Ground"], n.d. but c. 1900)
Al Hopkins & his Buckle Busters, "Roll on the Ground" (Brunswick 186, 1927)
J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers, "Big Ball's in Town" (King 622, 1947)
Fate Norris & his Playboys, "Roll 'em on the Ground" (Columbia 15435-D, 1929)
Gid Tanner & His Skillet Lickers, "Big Ball In Town" (Columbia 15204-D, 1927)
Taylor-Griggs Louisiana Melody Makers, "Big Ball Up Town" (Victor 21768, 1928)
Thaddeus C. Willingham, "Roll on the Ground" (AFS, 1939; on LC02, LCTreas)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Big Ball's in Boston
Notes: Harry Oster has reported an anti-Semitic variant from Louisiana, "Hook Nose In Brooklyn." - PJS
Cohen/Seeger/Wood report "This tune is the sort that exists only for itself and its suitability on the banjo, the words being only very freely attached and often with reference to a drunken state." This seems to be true of most variants, except perhaps for the prejudiced version mentioned by Paul. - RBW
Maybe so; the piece, however, seems to have begun life as a "coon song" -- a popular minstrel piece. - PJS


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Subject: RE: origin: Roll on the Ground/Big Ball in-
From: Richie
Date: 20 Dec 06 - 10:19 PM

Here's my transcription of "Roll on de Ground". Corrections are welcome. You can click the link the first entry to listen:

Roll on de Ground- Billy Golden
Roll on de Ground (Coon Song) (1899) With piano
Roll on de Ground (Coon Song) (1911) With orchestra
Collected Works of Billy Golden

(orchestral intro)spoken: Roll you webfoot, you webfoot roll

Well, When you've got lots of money,
Roll in my arms.
And when all your money's gone
Roll on the ground.

I went down to New Orleans,
Didn't go to stay.
And I throwed myself in a yellow gal's lap
And the yellow gal fainted away.

Roll on the ground boys,
Roll on the ground, well-
Roll on the ground boys
Roll on the ground, keep a rollin'
Roll on the ground boys,
Roll on the ground, well, well
Roll on the ground boys
Roll on the ground.

I went to see Miss Suzy
A-standing at the door
Shoes and stockings in her hand
Her feet all over the floor

Raccoon's got a bushy tail
Possum's tail is bare
Rabbit got no tail at all
Just a little bunch of hair

Roll on the ground boys,
Roll on the ground, well-
Roll on the ground boys
Roll on the ground, keep a rollin'
Roll on the ground boys,
Roll on the ground, well, well
Roll on the ground boys
Roll on the ground.


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Subject: RE: origin: Roll on the Ground/Big Ball in-
From: GUEST,Allan s.
Date: 21 Dec 06 - 10:57 AM

Tom Paley and John Cohen of the new Lost City Ramblers did it back in the early 1950's at the Yale Hoots


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Subject: RE: Origin: Roll on the Ground / Big Ball in Town
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 13 - 06:11 PM

I don't know if the derived from the Billy Golden song, some similarities, but it doesn't sound the same to me. I 1st heard it by Thaddeus C. Willingham as "Roll on the Ground"...I realized that it must be the origin of the western swing standard "Big Ball's in Cowtown"


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